British Steel sold for ‘blood money’? A reply to the Morning Star

Where should workers look for their salvation from the crises that destroy industry and jobs?

Proletarian writers

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Steeworks plant in Scunthorpe.

Proletarian writers

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The following letter was sent to the Morning Star in response to an article about the proposed sale of British Steel to the Turkish army’s pension fund (Oyak).


Dear sirs

I am writing in reply to your article, British Steel sold for blood money by Steve Sweeney, which was published last Friday, 16 August.

Several important omissions struck me while reading what was a very emotively-written piece about the fact that a buyer has been found for what remains of British Steel – a small, privately-owned company bearing little relation to the nationalised industry that formerly operated under the same name.

1. The sweat of British workers routinely goes to line the pockets of murderers; we live in an imperialist country.

2. The ‘peaceful’ Kurdish militias in Syria have been ethnically cleansing Arab inhabitants in the areas they occupy.

3. The Kurdish forces in Syria (who by no means represent every Kurd) have been acting as a proxy army for the USA.

4. At this moment in time, Turkey’s role and position in relation to Syria are not entirely clear, but the government in Ankara would appear to be moving away from its long and bloody alliance with the imperialist Nato alliance and toward a rapprochement with Russia and Iran – a development that workers everywhere should welcome.

An article that ignores these facts and simply quotes ‘Kurdish solidarity organisations’ is unenlightening at best and misleading at worst. The whole point of Marxist analysis is to examine things in their context and in motion.

Fundamentally, the problem for steelworkers is not that the Turkish government is horrible, but that capitalist production leads to overproduction, crisis, unemployment, poverty and inequality. The Morning Star, allegedly the paper of a communist party, misses all these points and ends up encouraging workers to feel that a British imperialist would be a purer and more acceptable boss than the Turkish military, which ‘has blood on its hands’.

JB, Bristol